Monthly Archives: June 2009

Technology Integration for Teacher Mentors

Today’s agenda



Media Integration

Observation Tools


Nigerian EdTech Scam

Warn your CIO or technology director! Schools all over the country are getting taken by these Nigerian eLearning scams! It seems they’re selling technology at high rates and making outrageous promises of learning. Somehow educational institutions keep getting taken in! FORWARD THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!!


Dear Esteem Beneficiary,

Have you receive all promises from technology you bought? Or from any organization claiming that they have magic learning technology to sell you? We have been watching every transactions that you made from last year 2008 up till date and you have to know that we are also working to make sure that your great learning which is supposed to be delivered to students some days ago can be immediately be delivered to you without any further delay or any kind of excuses.

The Federal Bureau of Education does not want any of our citizens to lose their magic eLearning technology and that is why we have been working every hour on our cyber watch department so you won’t get burnt by this scammers.

We are aware of every payment you have made on the transaction you are into to make the transaction succeed, yet the results is still held down by the NCLB and the immigration officer at the airport.

We want you to take note that our special educational service teacher men are the one to deliver your magic elearning technology to you without any further roadblock agencies.

The special educational service teacher men are in Nigeria where your technology learning is originated at the international airport now, as soon as you get back to this email by applying to the instruction that is sent to you, the students will start learning immediately.

The payment you are to send now so that your learning magic can finally get to you is the sum of $400000000USD for the airport clearance of your fund due to the huge amount of eLearning, and as soon as this has been sent down via money gram, paypal or western union international money transfer, the delivery will take immediate effect by the special educational service teacher men.

You have to stop every other idea you are into and stop communication with other organization and teachers to avoid delay on processing of your special elearning magic and that is why we at the FBE have email you to warn you that your fund is in Nigeria at the immigration office where the special educational service teacher men will deliver it to you personally as soon as the payment of $400000000USD is sent to them.

Get back to us at the FBE as soon as you receive this email.

Thanks for your co-operation.

Yours in technology guaranteed learning,

Robert S. Mueller,
Federal Bureau of Education
J. Edgar Murrow Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001, USA

Picture 2

From Good to Outstanding-PD on Steroids

Picture 2

From Good to Outstanding

Follow teachers as they work to improve their practice with a team of experts. Each teacher delivers an initial lesson, observed by school inspector Clare Gillies, then using her and other expert feedback, they fine-tune their skills and try deliver an outstanding second lesson a few weeks later.

This is one of those things that makes me want to move to the UK. If you have anything to do with professional development at your school this should really get you thinking.

So basically-

  • the lesson is filmed and observed by a master teacher
  • they post the raw class footage
  • people can then offer suggestions etc. online
  • the input from the master teacher and online suggestions is analyzed
  • expert feedback is given
  • the lesson is retaught
  • a compiled version showing before, expert mentoring and the after lesson is posted

I’m looking at it like this.

  • Classroom visits- You want teachers seeing other teachers teach. The way they capture the raw footage and put it up on the site is awesome. If you’re doing this you’re building a library of visits for people to use whenever and wherever without the additional overhead of providing subs etc.
  • Modeling classroom skills- Perfect, real-world demonstrations of skills teachers want to learn done with your population. The video may need additional aspects to make it a complete package for this but you’ve can show the skill happening in the classroom and that’s invaluable1.
  • Modeling coaching- You’ve got the chance to show adminstrators, department heads, grade level chairs exactly how to help teachers improve practice- how to have those conversations and it’s in a real-world, authentic situation. How do you give useful feedback? What types of questions do you ask?
  • Set standards- I forget the book right now but the author talks about how varied people’s ideas are regarding good practice and the problems this causes. This gives you a chance to discuss that and build a very concrete set of examples.
  • Professional Development- You’re giving people all sorts of ways to improve their own practice. They see things they like/don’t like and start thinking about how to incorporate or remove those things from their own classroom. They also have the ability to comment on ways to improve the lesson when it’s initially posted in raw format. That conversation, done correctly, could mimic some of the things Dan’s WCYDWT series that I find so interesting2 It also brings in elements of the Iron Teacher concept that I like. And there’s no reason you couldn’t have both those options working alongside the Good to Outstanding videos.

There are a million other advantages and ways I would use this. There are a bunch of videos up there now. Go check them out and then figure out what it’d take to make your own. Even without the after part, the raw video footage would be incredibly useful.

1 and almost always missing or done with models or simulated etc.

2 Despite the fact that I’m totally out of my element with math instruction.

Laugh or cry

—Because I want to share the voices in my head with others

Footnotes, italics, scare quotes and a few minor deletions by me . . .

Original Article By Tyler Whitley
Published: June 20, 2009

Bowing to pressure, the state superintendent of public instruction has abandoned her proposal to end the third-grade history and social studies Standards of Learning test.

The proposal drew a bipartisan outcry from legislators and objections from parents, educational groups and textbook publishers. And after all, who should know better than these experts in education and parties without any financial interest in continued testing? Does the state superintendent of public instruction think she was put in place to decide what is best for students? Of course not, that’s what textbook publishers are for.

Superintendent Patricia I. Wright said she made the proposal to save about $380,000 a year and because she thought third-graders were being tested too much.

“Poppycock” sneered Ms. Stanflowski, a textbook lobbyist. ” Every study we’ve paid someone to do for us proves exactly what we’ve always said. It is impossible to give expensive multiple choice tests too early, or too often.”

But superintendent Wright said yesterday that she will recommend, at the State Board of Education meeting next Saturday, proceeding with the test and that the board approve a timeline for weaving history-related passages into the elementary reading tests next year after revisions of the reading standards.

“I understand the concerns of the educators, legislators and others who disagreed,” she said. “I had not realized just how broken our system was. Parents are this brainwashed, really? Does anyone know what I could make consulting?”

Lynda Tran, a spokeswoman for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, described the discussion about the SOLs as “healthy.”

Tom Woodward, a spokesman for reality, described the discussion as “vomitous1.”

The discussion sends a signal that “we can expect as a state to continue to lead the way on education achievement,” Tran said. “Because testing equals achievement. It’s not because we’ve totally lost sight of what education is and have fallen to measuring poorly, but often, to satisfy petty bullies who don’t know a damned thing about education.”

Wright’s action was praised by Del. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, the House of Delegates majority leader, who joined many of his colleagues in opposition to Wright’s proposal.

“The bottom line is the history tests are a building block to understand how the government and our society works,” he said. “The children need to start at an early age. I am now legislating for in vitro testing. Think of all the things you memorized in 3rd grade that resulted in my election? You think I want to mess up that system?

Griffith also said taking the history and social studies test demonstrates how well a third-grader can read. Griffith then headed back to teaching elementary school and working nights teaching literacy to teachers as he has done for 30 plus years2.

The questions on the test range from geography to architecture to history.

African-American legislators noted that the third-grade test emphasizes African-American heroes, such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson. If the test were eliminated, the first exposure students would have to African-American history would be slavery in the fourth-grade curriculum, they said.

At this point a teacher mentioned that she would still teach about African-American heroes and didn’t need the state test, in fact she would have “more freedom to expand and explore the topic with her students.” The unnamed woman was quickly ejected from this meeting as she had no business being there and was clearly out of touch with reality.

1 As in, inducing vomit or the taste of bile into one’s mouth.

2 Ed. Sorry it turns out Griffith is an attorney with no early childhood literacy experience. I don’t know how we got that so wrong.